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Picture this: You and your friends are visiting a mountain town and you happen to find photos of a gorgeous lake the color of Gatorade (the good kind.) Oh, and it’s surrounded by massive mountains.
Even though the national park website says it’s a ten mile round trip and you didn’t exactly plan on any adventures that big… at this point, you pretty much have no choice.
Just because you weren’t initially prepared for a miles-long venture doesn’t mean it isn’t doable. You can still make a day-long excursion happen in a safe, enjoyable way with the right gear and mindset. Whether it rains, you run out of water, or you’re already trying to decide what on Earth you’re supposed to wear, take it from a gal who’s always outside: here’s exactly what to bring, swim and all.
Glacial lake, here we come:
- Bike Shorts: Thrive 5" Short - $58.
- Portable Charger: Clutch® V3 iPhone - $49.99..
- Swimsuit: Hi Tide Bottom - $85.
- Water filter: Katadyn BeFree 1.0 L Water Filter Bottle - 33.8 fl. Oz. - $49.
- Drybag: Rae Roll-Top Dry Bag - now $15.
- Raincoat: Beta Lightweight Jacket Women’s - $500.
- Backpack: Mountain Pack 28L - $179.
Thrive 5″ Short — $58.
Since most alpine hikes require climbing a couple several thousand feet of elevation, you’re going to want your base layers to be comfortable. Chaffing is not an option on this adventure. The Outdoor Voices TechSweat™ Thrive 5″ Short, “designed for maximum mobility without weighing you down,” are up for the challenge. Designed for high intensity exercise, these shorts will stay in place and keep you cool from trailhead to summit. Get the black ones to match any outfit or one of the two helios pattern options to add some pep to your step.
Consider going all out with a matching set by getting a matching Doing Things Thrive Bra. Both this top and bottom will keep you comfortable and BeReal ready for the entire duration of your adventure. The side pocket is perfect for keeping your cell phone map and camera accessible too.
Speaking of, I never go on a hike without my Clutch portable charger, which is roughly the size of a credit card. This portable charger will keep your phone charged all day long to capture memories and in case of emergencies.
Hi Tide Bottom — $85.
My absolute favorite aspect of alpine hikes are the deliciously chilly lakes at the top. I require myself and all other who join me to at least come prepared to take a dip. While stripping all your clothes off is perhaps the most “wild and free” option, most accessible alpine lakes in the summertime will have a large number of visitors you may not be keen on sharing a nude high elevation beach with. So, pack a suit! I adore Left on Friday’s high waisted Hi Tide Bottoms which come in every fun color on Planet Earth, with a wide variety of matching tops available. These sportier cute suites are sure to stay up and in place while you polar plunge. I tend to stray away from active suits with white or patterns just to keep it simple (translation: in case I sit in a mud puddle or something.) The Sunday Top is the perfect mix of flattering and functional.
One of the most important aspects of a high elevation adventure day is hydration. It is wildly important to stay hydrated from start to finish so you still have energy to go out after. However, it can be really hard to figure out exactly how much water to bring and water bottles can make your pack heavy, fast. Research the safety of drinking natural water in the region you’re hiking and purchase a filtering bottle like this one which allows you to scoop fresh water straight from the source and drink without a worry. Nothing is worse than running out of water. Bringing a filtering system ensures that you never will. If I’m being honest I’ve grown to love drinking straight from streams and rivers (through my filtered bottle.) If this idea freaks you out, you can always just tote a lot of water in your pack and bring this as a backup.
RAE ROLL-TOP DRY BAG — now $15.
No matter the forecast, I always bring 1–2 small drybags on alpine hikes. Not only are they the perfect place to stash your wet swimsuit, but in the instance that it does start to rain, you can protect your phone, camera, and snacks from getting soggy too. These little drybags by Dagne Dover are adorable and the perfect size to squeeze into your pack. Drybags are a precautionary measure; while you might not initially find them necessary, they can save you some stress for sure. Mountains make their own weather, so you always have to take the forecast with a grain of salt.
In case of further inclement weather, my favorite raincoat by Arcteryx is worth looking at too. All gear made by Arcteryx is the best of the best and while the price reflects that, buying one, amazing, fully functioning rain jacket will last you many more years and save you money too rather than several, half waterproof ones. Also, they’ve got a gorgeous blue color available at the moment, so jump on it while you still can.
MOUNTAIN PACK 28L — $179.
So, how are you going to carry all of your carefully collected alpine hike gear? In this beautiful pack by Topo Designs of course! Topo’s thoughtfully designed packs come with every pouch and strap you’ll need to carry everything you need and more. They come in quirky colorways that scream“I know what I’m doing, and I’m stylish, too.” Its waist strap allows you to take the weights off your shoulders, and its laptop pouch means this pack is ready for use on and off the trails. This 28-liter pack is ready to go. Are you?